About the author and editor

As the author of this research website, I am a German who arrived in South Australia in October 2006. After a previous professional involvement in inter-cultural and ecumenical community education programs with the Protestant Church in Germany, I got interested in the story of the Dresden missionaries in particular because of their sensitive relationship with the Aboriginal communities at  their times and the outcome of their work in the successful Aboriginal language revival program since the early 1990s.

Gerhard Rüdiger, 2008
Gerhard Rüdiger, 2008

After some initial research around this story and the German (Lutheran) migration to South Australia since the late 1830s, I began to understand that I knew some of the people and mission agencies who were part of the story in Germany today without being aware of it.  These contacts helped re-establish a dialogue and exchange of information between Australia and Germany.  Between 2010 and 2015, I was an Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide and assisting Kaurna Warra Pintyandi (KWP), the coordinating committee for the Kaurna language reclamation program in Adelaide. Since 2012 I was the  part-time KWP admin coordinator.  I now pursue again my research as a part time project besides other obligations, but still as an associated member of the Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi Aboriginal Corporation (KWK).

As you may have noticed, English is my second language, which may explain flaws and glitches in the text.  If you find substantial errors or would like to contribute information, please contact me.


A main objective of this Website is to offer my research results to the wider public, in particular to the Aboriginal communities today as descendants of their families from way back then, but also to those who relate to any of the families in Australia established by the four young German missionaries who never returned "home" to Germany. I hope that in some future time the findings here can be of use to explore and interpret this story from an Aboriginal perspective.


Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi

A research project like this can never occur on your own — I would therefore like to acknowledge the support of the many people who have accompanied, supported, challenged, hindered (!) or advised me on this journey, of which I would have never thought it to happen, or who will do so in the future.  In particular I would like to express my gratitude to the Kaurna Community on the Adelaide Plains to offer me insight into, and a place of participation in, their language reclamation and revival through Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi (KWP) and the Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi (KWK) Aboriginal Corporation in Adelaide.  I am grateful to all the many people who shared their ideas, knowledge and wisdom with me (they know who I mean!).

Lutheran Church of Australia

The Lutheran Archives Adelaide, its staff and volunteers, have had a major role by opening for me their doors, boxes and insights into the underlying history of German (and Lutheran) migration to South Australia in the 1830s and 1840s, and the corresponding stories in Germany of which I had hardly any idea.  Many thanks to you all.  Hopefully this website can compliment your work.

Late Tony Rathjen (2009) (Image: Birchip Cropping Group)
Late Tony Rathjen (1940-2014)
(Image: Birchip Cropping Group)
I would also like to acknowledge the late Tony Rathjen, lecturer and wheat researcher at the Wait Campus of the University of Adelaide.  His interest in the history and the life of Aboriginal peoples on the country where he grew up and where he worked, led to a long commitment of support for research into, amongst other issues, language and culture of Aboriginal communities through the Yitpi Foundation.  A devoted Lutheran Christian, he engaged in networking between his church, Aboriginal peoples and the academic community.  I had the privilege to travel with him locally and receive financial support for a research trip to Germany (2010), coordinate the tour of a small delegation of Aboriginal community members through Germany (2011) and help organize the return visit to South Australia of the director of the Dresden Mission Society successor, the "Leipziger Missionswerk" (2013).  In many regards, Tony Rathjen was a mentor whose challenges lead to this website.

I can be reached

E  <piltawodli /at/ grweb.org>
I  <grweb.org>

For reference:

Gerhard Rüdiger. Welcome :: About the author and editor, in: Pirltawardli Research Website. Adelaide 2020.
(Created: 05.11.2014. Last updated: 24.05.2016.)
Direct URL: <www.grweb.org/cpo-pirltawardli/en/detail.php?rubric=welcome&nr=158>. Viewed 13.07.2020.